Judgements on Judging

Judgement has been a much debated issue among Christians. There are many well known Biblical verses which speak negatively of judging others and these are often used to stifle Christian input on issues. The dilemma is that it seems impossible for anyone, Christian or not, to go through life without making judgements and almost all judgements we make, whether negative or positive concern the actions of others.

In reality, if we made no judgements at all, how do we tell our sons and daughters that it’s bad to steal? If we discipline them should they persist in their bad behaviour, we’ve actually taken judgement to the next level with the imposition of punishments as a result of judgement against our own kids.

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We do have the teaching on judging from Christ and His Apostles.

We may not judge motives, intentions, and guilt before God but we are commanded by Christ Himself to judge actions, speech, writing against truth and in this way we can help others by offering truth.

The rule from Christ is:
“Judge not that you be not judged.” (Mt 7:1)

“Stop judging by appearances, but judge justly.” (Jn 7:24).

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them” (Mt 7:15, 16).

“Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them.” (Mt 7:19-20).

St Paul adds:
“Test everything: retain what is good.” (1Thess 5:21).

“The spiritual person, however, can judge everything but is not subject to judgement by anyone.” (1 Cor 2:15).

“I, for my part, although absent in body but present in spirit, have already, as if present, pronounced judgement on the one who has committed this deed…” (1 Cor 5:3; read 1-13).

“I am speaking as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I am saying.” (1 Cor 10:15).

“Beloved, do not trust every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they belong to God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 Jn 4:1).

“I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth.” (Rev 3:16).

Your problems with the notion of ‘judgment’ presume that there is only one meaning of the word; therefore, if we make a ‘judgment’ of right and wrong behavior, you apply the prohibition “judge not, lest you be judged”, it seems.

However, we are told that we are to admonish the sinner. How is that to be done, short of recognizing sinful behavior? Does that mean that any judgment is proscribed? Of course not. What we’re being told by Jesus – that is, what the world fails to see when it wags its finger at us for ‘judging’ – is that we must not pass judgment on people. “What you’re doing is objectively wrong” is one thing; “you’re surely going to hell” is another. Only the latter is prohibited to us. Asserting that the former is likewise forbidden betrays a shallow understanding of the Gospels… :shrug:

Juding is an interesting topic because we all make judgements, for example there are those religious communities who believe that Jesus- a Hebrew Rabbi consumed fermented wine. The reality is that Jesus never consumed fermented wine nor fermented drink of any kind because the Kashrut-the hebrew dietary laws expressely forbide any hebrew from doing so due to the fact that only pegans used fermented wine in their religious ceremonies. The hebrews never wished to follow these practices, only wished to follow the laws set down by God which expressely forbide the consumption of fermented wine and strong drink.

Often religious communities taking part in the consumption of fermented wine will make excuses for consuming it, such as insisting there is a religious significance, ect… this is only an excuse to drink and doesn’t follow God nor Jesus’s teachings.


the topic of wine is out of the scope of this thread; perhaps you might start a thread to make the assertions you’ve come here to make. However, I think you’ll find the going tough, if your goal is to convince us that by using the word ‘wine’, the Bible means ‘not-really-wine-but-rather-grape-juice’. :wink:


Judging someone means passing sentence. Jesus is the only one who will pass sentence on people, the only one who will determine if someone goes to Heaven or Hell.

The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, (John 5:22)

The judgment spoken about in the Bible has nothing to do with judging the objective morality of a person’s behavior. Murder is an objectively immoral act and it is not wrong to point that out. Behavior can be judged. What we are not supposed to do is pass sentence. Jesus alone gets to say whether we go to Heaven or Hell.

Exercising sound judgement based on our conscience and the teachings of the Church is not the same as judging someone. We can judge behavior but not people.


In Mattew 7:2,3 (after Judge not) the way you judge others (not the way you judge yourself) is the way God will judge you. :slight_smile:

When I read sweetangel’s post I was thinking the same as you were. :smiley:

My assertions may not be spot on but I do realize there is more than one definition for the word judgement.
From one paragraph of the article…

Part of the problem with our misunderstanding of judgement is that it is often associated with outright condemnation. It can get more complicated when you do word studies in the original, old world language of the Bible. Judgement can sometimes include sentencing someone as a judge would do, and sometimes it can mean making a simple distinction between right and wrong. As Christians we know that God is the judge of all men so we are clearly not to take judgement to the point of condemnation. From Scripture however, we know that some judgements are allowed because Christ compliments a Pharisee on correct judgement and gives instructions on judgment in the book of Matthew. Judgement can wrongful then, but not always. It can also be rightful.

Of course, you make judgment yourself when you decide for others that they’re just making excuses to drink.

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